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Maclean’s: What it feels like to be Canadian

Maclean's | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2015

To celebrate Canada’s 148th birthday, Maclean’s has produced 148 short videos that showcase the vibrancy and breadth of Canadian experiences from coast-to-coast. “What it feels like to be Canadian” bring audiences closer to the action.

From joining the Sourtoe Cocktail Club in Dawson City and climbing an ice-covered Niagara Falls to an intimate concert with the Barenaked Ladies, the diversity of content reflects the lives of Canadians from across our nation.

Categories include sports, outdoors, heritage, experience, adventure, and arts.

Click here to watch the series of 148 videos.

10 Canadian movies to watch this Canada Day

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2015

Ok, we’re not suggesting you sit and watch 10 movies back-to-back this Canada Day — particularly if it’s sunny outside! But once you’re home from that Canada Day party and ready to kick back for a few, toss on one of these Canadian flicks for a little entertainment.

We’ve selected some older movies, some newer, and a few from our favourite Canadian directors. We think it’s a good mix of light-hearted, and more dramatic fare. Hope you agree!

Goon (2011): We admit, we weren’t the biggest Seann William Scott fans until we saw him in this surprisingly sweet comedy about a bar bouncer with a heart of gold who’s hired to be the resident goon on his town’s minor-league hockey team, despite the fact that he can’t skate. Doug Glatt (Scott) soon finds himself at odds with both his team’s star player (Marc-Andre Grondin) and the league’s top goon (Liev Schreiber). Will this unlikely hero lead his team to victory? You’ll certainly be rooting for him to!

Bon Cop, Bad Cop (2006): When the body of a hockey league executive is discovered on the Ontario-Quebec border, the police forces from both provinces are forced to work together on the case. Enter strait-laced Martin Ward (the always excellent Colm Feore) representing the Ontario Provincial Police, and wildcard David Bouchard (Patrick Huard) of the Surete de Quebec, and you have the makings of a classic buddy cop film.

Canadian Bacon (1995): *Family-friendly!* Michael Moore directed this satirical John Candy vehicle about a low-in-the-polls U.S. President (Alan Alda) who tries to up his approval rating by starting a cold war against Canada. While this hilarious film is rife with talented comedy actors, among them Alda, Rhea Perlman, Kevin Pollak and Wallace Shawn, this film belongs to the late Candy, playing a sheriff who takes the U.S.’s new stance very seriously.

Les triplettes de Belleville/The Triplets of Belleville (2003): *Family-friendly!*Nominated for two Oscars, this animated film is as beautiful to watch as it is to listen to. The story revolves around Madame Souza and her dog Bruno, who team up with the Belleville Sisters to find her missing grandson Champion, who disappears during the Tour de France.

One Week (2008): Michael McGowan’s film about a young man (Joshua Jackson) who takes a motorcycle trip from Toronto to Tofino following a devastating medical diagnosis is a true love letter to Canada and all its beauty and eccentricity. Given its at-times heartbreaking subject matter, this is a wonderfully uplifting and funny film. We also adore Campbell Scott’s narration.

Goin’ Down The Road (1970): Doug McGrath and Paul Bradley star as two friends who move from Nova Scotia to the big city, Toronto, in the hopes of finding jobs and a better life. This classic Canadian film was subsequently parodied on SCTV. It’s interesting to see how much Yonge St. has changed since the film was made.

Juno (2007): Starring Canadians Ellen Page and Michael Cera, and directed by Canadian Jason Reitman, we’re claiming this film as one of our own! Faced with an unexpected pregnancy, 16-year-old Juno MacGuff (Page) makes the controversial decision to carry her child to term so that she can place it with an adoptive couple. Diablo Cody won an Oscar for her smart script.

Away From Her (2006): Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie turn in wonderful performances as an aging couple dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Sarah Polley proves she’s as talented behind the director’s chair as she is in front of the camera in this heart-rending film.

Eastern Promises (2007): David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen follow up the excellent A History of Violence with this equally powerful and disturbing film about a midwife (Naomi Watts) who becomes entangled with the Russian mafia while investigating the death of a pregnant teenager. Mortensen is fantastic as mafia driver Nikolai, but it’s Armin Mueller-Stahl who steals the show as the outwardly warm, but secretly brutal and cold-hearted, restaurant owner/mob boss Semyon. Not for the faint at heart, this film has scenes of brutal violence.

Barney’s Version (2010): Based on the acclaimed Mordecai Richler novel, Paul Giamatti is perfectly cast as the irascible Barney Panofsky, who falls in love with a woman (Rosamund Pike) at his second wedding. This touching drama also stars Dustin Hoffman as Izzy, Barney’s father, and Minnie Driver as Barney’s second wife. A film that proves how important good writing is to good moviemaking.

Happy Canada Day! Share your favourite Canadian films (or films directed by Canadians) in the comments below!


Leah Sarich | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2015


Imagine being unable to say your name, not because you don’t know it, but because you suffer from a language disorder. This is often what it’s like for people living with aphasia. Up to 35 percent of those who suffer a stroke end up with aphasia, a language disorder caused by stroke or brain injury, that affects one’s ability to talk, read, write and understand spoken language.

Registered Speech-Language Pathologist Heather Tomlinson says aphasia is very frustrating, distressing and even embarrassing for those who have it because aphasia is a loss of language and not intellect, something people often misunderstand.

Tomlinson says most people do much better after working with a Speech-Pathologist, but many will continue to live with aphasia. This is why therapists will work with the patient, helping them to relearn how to talk, compensatory strategies like working with pictures to point to in order to facilitate communication,  but they’ll also work with the family and communication partners to educate them. For example, a therapist may ask a family member to resist finishing their partner’s sentences and help them understand it’s important to give the person with aphasia the time they need to find their words.

The good news is there are now more options for people with aphasia who have finished their formal rehabilitation in Calgary. The newly formed Calgary Aphasia Centre offers five workshops around the city where those with the disorder can come and practice their speech in a supportive environment.

For more information on these workshops, visit the Stroke Recovery Program’s website. 



Alberta Nose

Leah Sarich | posted Thursday, Jun 25th, 2015


Local Ear, Nose and Throat doctors hear this all the time, “I breathe better when I”m on vacation.” And this is one of the reasons ENTs working in Calgary have coined the term Alberta Nose.

Turns out, stuffy nose or rhinitis, is very common in Calgary. But specifically, the type of rhinitis where doctors don’t know what’s causing it. So, there are no allergies at play, no infections, no known irritants bothering the nose when doctors use this term.

Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat specialist Dr. Warren Yunker from the Alberta Children’s Hospital says when he practiced in Houston he would rarely see cases of idiopathic non-allergic rhinitis. But here in Calgary, he sees about 5 patients a day with this condition. Hence, the more colloquial term Alberta Nose.

There are many theories about Alberta Nose, but no real research. However, doctors think this condition may be multifactorial, or have many causes. It’s not simply the lack of humidity here or altitude. Doctors think there could be some kind particulate matter coming off the Foothills that might be behind this stuffy nose.

Regardless, when it comes to Alberta Nose it’s about treating the symptoms. So, first off you have decide how irritated you are by your symptoms. For children with Alberta Nose, ENTs will talk to parents to see if the child’s sleeping is being affected by the inability to breathe properly. They’ll look at whether the child can eat with their mouth closed. Similarly, for adults, it’s a question of how bothered they are by the symptoms and whether their sleep is affected.

The doctor will then come up with a treatment plan. The first line of treatment includes a humidifier in the bedroom at night and saline nasal sprays. And for adults, regular nasal rinsing. The idea being if something is irritating the nose, wash it out.

If these methods are not working, talk to our doctor about prescription steroid nasal sprays. Dr. Yunker says if the patient needs them, they’re safe to use over the long term.

For more information talk to your doctor about non-allergic rhinitis or get a referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.

Men’s Health

Leah Sarich | posted Tuesday, Jun 23rd, 2015


We all know men are not the best at getting to the doctor, particularly for an annual checkup. Men are more likely to go to the doctor once they have symptoms. And in fact, those symptoms have likely been bothering them for quite awhile.

For Men’s Health Month, Dr. Jonathan Chan of Imagine Health Centres, wants guys to start thinking of their bodies in a different way. He says men should treat their body just as they would their favourite vehicle. Dr. Chan says most men would take their nice car in for routine maintenance, would put only the best fuel in it and would take care of it in a way that would help it last as long as possible.

Same applies to the body. Dr. Chan says the annual visit is the best way for men to reduce their risk for the big bad killers like heart disease, stroke and cancer. The annual visit allows the doctor and patient to come up with a personalized road map for their wellness. It also allows the family doctor to help their patient with healthy eating (remember that fuel) and regular exercise. These lifestyle changes, says Dr. Chan can make all the difference at preventing disease.

Dr. Chan also encourages men to see their doctor before they start having any symptoms. Again, it’s about preventing disease in the first place.

And if that doesn’t get the guys in, Dr. Chan offers this advice. He explains that if you have clogged arteries in your heart for example, that can lead to heart disease. But those clogged arteries usually mean there is vascular disease elsewhere in the body. For example, clogged arteries to the brain could lead to stroke, or even sexual dysfunction. That’s usually motivating for most men, says Dr. Chan.

Either way, regular visits are about investing in your own machine. You can always get a new car, but you only have one body.

For more information about Dr. Chan and what they do at Imagine Health Centres, visit their website.

Baby Brain Research

Leah Sarich | posted Thursday, Jun 18th, 2015


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects five percent of school-aged children. Yet researchers still have so much to learn about this disorder.

One of the researchers at the forefront is Neuropsychologist Deborah Dewey at the University of Calgary. She and her team have found that ADHD often occurs with another neurodevelopmental disorder. This is called co-occurrence. In fact, Dewey says research shows co-occurrence is actually the norm and not the exception. She explains the chance of a child with ADHD also having a motor disorder is 50 percent. The chance of a child with ADHD having a reading disability is 30-40 percent. And these children also have a much higher rate of having some kind of mental illness like depression.

So this leads to the question of why? Dewey says early research shows what’s happening to baby’s brain in utero may be of more significance than what’s happening once they’re born. For example, she refers to when BPA or bisphenol A was taken out of baby bottles a few years ago. While this is great, the latest research suggests exposures to neurotoxins like BPA or phthalates which are ubiquitous in our environment may be more problematic before baby is even born, when their brains are developing in utero.

Research also suggests the co-occurrence of these brain disorders may have to do with what women eat while they’re pregnant. Dewey says research is underway into things like eggs and omega 3 fatty acids and the impact on baby brain development in utero.

What is clear is that this co-occurrence of neurodevelopmental disorders is being caused by more than just genetics.

For more information, Deborah Dewey will be giving a free public lecture at the Alberta Children’s Hospital tomorrow (Friday June 19th.) The lecture is on the 4th floor in the main amphitheatre.



10 mistakes to avoid when decorating a small bedroom

Alexandra Gater | posted Thursday, Jun 18th, 2015

Mistake 1: Ignoring the corners.

Use the corners of your bedroom to create more storage. A corner hanging bar such as the one below can be used for sweaters or blankets.


Mistake 2: Buying furniture that doesn’t have a dual purpose.

Invest in a bed that has storage underneath or a desk that folds against the wall to maximize space effectively. This simple and practical storage bed frame is from West Elm.


See more common mistakes here

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